Aug. 7, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

“The battle for the mind of Ronald Reagan was like like the trench warfare of World War I: never have so many fought so hard for such barren terrain.”
–  Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan  –    

angry reaganI have heard many a so-called “conservative” state what a “great” President Ronald Reagan was. Whenever I hear such nonsense from such blatantly misled people, I always think of the old adage that there is “a sucker born every minute,” Unfortunately for this country, and for many in Latin America during Reagan’s two terms in the presidency, a huge number of American voters were deceived into casting their ballots for him in 1980 and again in 1984. The horrible repercussions of those very errant votes plague us even today, nearly a full 24 years since he  left office. I can only hope that someday soon we will recover from the disastrous legacy he left us with!  

Many of Reagan’s blind hero-worshipers love to talk about his great charm and “charisma,”  I laugh at this, because, when compared with either John F. Kennedy JFKor his brother Robert, Reagan’s so-called charisma all but vanishes. Both of those Kennedys were sharp, witty, quick-thinking, loaded with supporting facts and knowledge of past history, and were truly charming, as well as genuine when they expressed themselves. Reagan, on the other hand, would hem and haw as he tried to think of something cute or clever to say. His timing may have been good, but often his logic was flawed or he was unable to present convincing fact to back up some of his often preposterous statements. This is not the mark of a great man: rather, it is the trait of a second-rate actor who was far more concerned with putting on a good “show” than in presenting some real substance or valuable knowledge for his audience. It is really a shame that neither Jack nor Bobby Kennedy ever had the chance to debate Ronald Reagan, for if they had, they would have certainly smoked his ass but good!

Like many modern conservatives (Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, Paul Ryan, Rush Limbaugh, and Ted Cruz all come to mind here), Ronald Reagan had little time for actual fact, especially when it disproved many of his errant beliefs. “Facts are stupid things”, he once said. That explains how he could so ignorantly and flippantly reject the dangers of carbon-based pollution by ridiculously saying “Trees cause more air pollution than automobiles.” Reagan also admitted in an interview with Barbara Wakters in 1981 that “I never knew anything above Cs.” These are not the remarks of a great man. They are the statements of a stupid man.

Those who believe that Reagan was a kindhearted, grandfatherly type of man should be reminded how scornful, angry, and downright hateful a man hateful reaganhe  could be.  He was full of caustic comments on the government, one time saying “Government is like a baby: an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.” And he was also fond of telling people that “Government isn’t the solution. It is the problem.” How a previous lifelong New Deal Democrat with a tremendous admiration for the accomplishments and big government policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt could abruptly change course 180 degrees to espouse libertarian anti-government gibberish is way beyond my comprehension. Reagan had become a turncoat by the 1950s (with wife Nancy’s manipulation and urging), and from that point on, he had his blinders on concerning federal aid to the poor and on taxing the very wealthy. In a TV speech in late October of 1964, Reagan made a very cruel, thoughtless, and cold-hearted remark. He was quoted as saying “We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry every night. Well, that was probably true – they were all on a diet.” Yeah, right, Ronnie. What an uncaring ass! That is not the remark of a great or visionary man; it is the remark of an ignorant, self-centered man with ice in his veins. Utterly disgusting! He denounced Medicare as “creeping socialism” in the mid 1960s and parroted the paranoid and wholly wrong libertarian philosophy about it on a long-playing spoken record album. As governor of California during the Patty Hearst kidnapping by the leftist Symbionese Liberation Army, he reacted angrily at how that radical group had demanded and successfully gotten some free food for the poor. His sarcastic and mean-spirited comment  then was that he hoped some of the food would be “poisoned.” Those are not the thoughts of a great man, or a lovable, grandfatherly type – they are the thoughts of a hateful, extremist ideologue who had absolutely no concern whatsoever for the less fortunate. Upon becoming President, one of the first things he did was to slash taxes on the very wealthy while steadily increasing expenditures on the military. A self-proclaimed fiscal conservative, he belied this claim by steeply increasing the federal debt and deficit to then-record levels.”I am not worried about the deficit,” he arrogantly and flippantly said. “It is big enough to take care of itself.” Remember that, Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, and all of you other Reagan hero-worshipers? Now THAT is hardly the attitude of a great leader or a true fiscal conservative!  All this while, Reagan was also ridiculing the poor and deceiving voters by calling his Democratic opponents big spenders. He was contemptuous of labor unions and did all he could to stifle them. Those are NOT the actions of a fair-minded man or a great leader. They are instead strong evidence that Reagan was a suck-up to big business and the wealthy elite. Regrettably, the public bought this Reagan line of malarkey. VERY regrettably, they also bought his budget adviser’s nonsense about “supply side” or “trickle down” economics. This, of course, was David Stockman’s far-right, libertarian doublespeak gibberish which simply meant if you give the rich huge tax breaks and subsidies, all levels of income will rise as more jobs are created and greater overall prosperity will occur. Within a few years of this policy’s implementation, though, this country began to see a 30 + year exodus of American good-paying jobs and manufacturing plants to slave-wage labor markets far outside of its borders. It started a devastating pattern of reduced or stagnant workers’ wages and the curtailment or elimination of workers’ benefits. These negative developments were NOT the result of greatness on Reagan’s part, but were rather perfect examples of his weakness, ignorance, and lack of character and vision. Reagan himself once asked voters to think about if their lives were better after having experienced 4 years under his predecessor. I would maintain that, since Reagan took office in 1981, our country as a whole has LOST tremendous ground economically directly as a result of his pathetically short-sighted pro-wealthy, anti-worker economic policies.

reagan and bushSHAME on you, Ronald Reagan, and all of your followers both inside and out of our government! Your outright deceit, miscalculation, paranoia, and callous indifference to basic human needs have had a horribly detrimental effect on this country, and as a result, we may NEVER successfully dig our way out! SHAME on you, Reagan, for having appealed to our baser, more selfish instincts rather than using your “bully pulpit” to inspire this country to be more selfless and compassionate toward the less fortunate. SHAME on you for having turned a “we” generation  into a self-absorbed “ME” generation!

I am certain that, by now, those that are Reagan hero-worshipers who may be reading this blog are marveling at why I have failed to acknowledge Reagan as being the conqueror of communism. The reason I have omitted this is because Reagan alone did NOT conquer communism. Oh, sure – he had stern talks with Gorbachev, but so did Ike and JFK with Khrushchev; LBJ, Nixon, and Ford with Kosygin and Brezhnev; and even Jimmy Carter battled the Soviet Union by proxy when the Soviets invaded and occupied Afghanistan in 1979! Remember, in 1962, JFK had boldly and successfully syood up to the Soviets in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Even before that, Harry Truman indirectly fought Stalin in the Korean War. It was the COMBINED efforts of all of these Presidents which led to the defeat of communism. All Reagan did was accelerate the inevitable end of the Soviet bloc by hugely and recklessly increasing our military expenditures to the point where no other nation could afford to keep up with us. That is hardly the same as defeating communism all by himself – what rubbish!

Ronald Reagan was definitely NOT a great man, nor was he a visionary leader. Rather, he was a corrupted, backward-looking phony who managed to buffalo a great many Americans during his time in office. He was also a bully in foreign affairs who was so terrified of creeping communism in the Western Hemisphere that he unnecessarily invaded tiny Grenada, tried to overthrow a democratically-elected government in Nicaragua, and strengthened a murderous and corrupt dictatorship in El Salvador, and even gave aid to Saddam Hussein in far-off Iraq. Ronald Reagan was not a great man, but rather a misguided and often mistaken mediocre chief executive!                                        

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Aug. 4, 2014  By Jack Jodell (in association with Burr Deming’s FAIR AND UNBALANCED.COM). 

Happy Monday, everybody! Here is my friend Burr Deming’s latest podcast, in which he takes on a very deluded and cold-hearted Paul Ryan, the former failed GOP vice presidential nominee who is a devout follower of the preposterous theories of the very hypocritical Ayn Rand, Like Rand, Ryan took advantage of beneficial government programs but has decried their use or existence for anybody else. This little fool is determined to impose an austerity budget on this country, and will use whatever lies he needs to help implement his borrowed insane agenda of showering the wealthy with even more money while denying the poor desperately needed federal aid to punish them just for being poor.

BURR DEMINGIn Burr’s own words: “The controversy began soon after Paul Ryan gave his speech about how conservatives have an understanding of love that others simply do not share. The story about the little boy was asinine.

In fact, the little boy who hated federal supplemrntal nutrition programs because they lacked love was a little boy who did not exist. At least he had never spoken with Secretary Anderson. Representative Paul Ryan issued a clarification. He said he did not know the story was false. Governor Scott Walker had no idea. A spokesperson for the department led by Eloise Anderson, who gave the false testimony, had said she had simply misspoken. ‘…a little boy told me once’ should have been ‘Once I heard someone say.’  

The point Representative Ryan was making does survive the controversy. Conservatives understood that the health of the soul is more important than a full stomach. The story was simply an illustration of a point that deserves our attention. It pertains especially to the newest immigration issue.” Check it out at:   

UP NEXT:  “THE MYTH OF RONALD REAGAN’S GREATNESS!” -out in a few more days…             
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July 31, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

It has been said that nothing is certain but death and taxes. To that, I would also add: WAR. Trapped in this paranoid neocon and military / industrial complex-dominated time as we are today, and in observance of World War I starting exactly 100 years ago this week, I thought I would present some glimpses of war gathered from a wide variety of sources. Below are some meaningful quotes by notable people concerning many of the wars we have been involved in over the centuries.

“I have always disliked Kamikazes, that is, people who commit suicide in order to kill others. ..I never considered them soldiers.”
– Oriana Fallaci –

“No country in history ever sent mothers of toddlers off to fight enemy soldiers until the United States did this in the Iraq War.”
– Phyllis Schlafley  –

“Circumstances cause us to act the way we do. We should always bear this in mind before judging the actions of others. I realized this from the start during World War II.”
–  Thor Heyerdahl  – 

“If you look at the history of technology over a couple hundred years, it’s all about time compression and making the globe smaller. It’s had positive effects, all the ones that we know. So we’re much less likely to have the kind of yrttible misunderstandings that led to World War I for example.”
–  Eric Schmidt – (MAN! One can sure tell what era THIS guy was writing from!)

“War means fighting, and fighting means killing.”
–  Nathan Bedford Forrest (Civil War) –

“In the lead up to the Iraq War and its later conduct, I saw at a minimum, true dereliction, negligence, irresponsibility, at worst, lying, incompetence, and corruption.”
–  Anthony Zinni  –

“We can no longer afford to disregard international rivalries now that we ourselves have become a competitor in the world-wide struggle for trade.”
–  An 1898 U.S. State Department memorandum during the Spanish-American War  –

“One day the Great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans,”
–  Otto von Bismarck  – (an INCREDIBLY prophetic statement coming from this man in 1888, a full 16 years before the start of World War I!)

“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”
–   Samuel Adams  –

“Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory and has shed American blood upon American soil.”
–  James K. Polk  –

“As a Korean War veteran, I know firsthand and understand the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform.”
–  Charles B. Rangel  –              

“Anyone who experienced World War I close-hand was grossed out by it forever. It was just so awful.”
– Amity Shlaes –

“You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass.”
–  Japanese General Isoroku Yamamotu   – 

” The Gulf War is responsible for the huge and horrifying rise in Islamic terrorism.”
–  Pierre Salinger  –

“I got my head bashed in ay a demonstration against the Vietnam War. Police were losing control because they were up against a world they didn’t really understand.”
–  Terry Gilliam  –  

“The modern Middle East was largely created by the British. It was they who carried the war effort in the region during World War I and who, at its close, principally fashioned its peace. It was a peace presaged by a nickname given the region by covetous British leaders in wartime: ‘The Great Loot.”
– Scott Anderson –  

“We began a conquest for liberty ill provided with the means for the war, relying on our own patriotism to supply the deficiency. We expected to encounter many evils and distressed…we must bear the present evils and fortitude,”
–  George Washington  – 

“I am a child of World War I. And I really know about the children of war. Because both my parents were badly damaged by the war.  My father – physically, and both – mentally and emotionally. So I know exactly what it’s like to be brought up in an atmosphere of continual harping on the war.” –    Doris Lessing –

“You will kill ten of us, we will kill one of you. But in the end, you will tire of it first.”
–  Ho Chi Minh  –

“The greatest crime since World War II has been American foreign policy.” –  Ramsey Clark  –

“I believe that in four weeks from the time a declaration of war is heard on our frontier, the whole of upper Canada and part of Lower Canada will be in our power.” –  Rep. John C. Calhoun (a very boastful and incorrect prophecy he made at the start of thr War of 1812)  –

“A Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets, and in which strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love and kindness, has no charm for me.”
–  Robert E. Lee  – (I wonder what his opinion of today’s corporate/anti-worker/pro-military state would be?)

“The only reason I told the President to fight in Korea was to validate   NATO.” –  Dean Acheson  – 

“We learned the value of research in World War II.”
–  Amar Bose  –

“The Iraq War marked the beginning of the end of network news coverage. Viewers saw the juxtaposition of the embedded correspondents reporting the war as it was actually unfolding, and the jaundiced, biased, negative coverage of these same events in the network newsrooms.
–  Dick Morris  –


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Execution for Those Who Deserve to Die

July 28, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

BURR DEMINGI am delighted to present this new podcast from the very thoughtful Burr Deming (shown at right), creator of the fabulously insightful website Fair and Unbalanced. com, in association with which I present this effort. Here, Mr. Deming puts forth simultaneous arguments both for and against the death penalty. I myself am opposed to the death penalty and would be thoroughly horrified to learn that a future jury vote of mine would possibly convict an innocent person to death. But, as Burr rationalizes, “We all share the anger about the crimes, the murders, the victims. ..
The anger that reacts against injustice is often what impels us along the arc of the moral universe. It is part of what bends that arc toward justice. If not channeled, it becomes the violence itself.  

So, yeah, if my family was victimized, I would want to kill those responsible. Personally. Slow, torturous death would not be a flaw, it would be a feature. I wouldn’t want to be deterred by process, or by appeals, or by the microscopic possibility that I might have the wrong guy. I would likely be the one who pulls the switch. I can see myself as the one who hopes the killer suffers as much as his victim. Two hours to die? Good.

The same would be true if the victim was from a family down the street.

Here’s the problem.
The same might even be true if the family was in the same courtroom while I deliberated guilt or innocence.”

Listen by clicking on the link below and see what you think, readers…

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July 25, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

Below are words from a song I co-wrote and recorded 11 years ago with a man named Tom Sedio (a VERY gifted singwriter and guitarist) during the earliest phases of the criminal Bush / Cheney Iraq War fiasco. Although we have not yet released it, (and perhaps never will). as I listened again to it recently, it struck me how timeless and wholly applicable the lyrics seem to be even today, more than a decade later…


“God knows everybody needs more love
I know what it’s done for me
God sees Satan taking over the world
I know what he’s done to me
God knows that there is no need for war
I see dying needlessly
God wants everyone to share their love
I want people to be free…

Take a look around you – tell me what you see
Looks like everybody’s insane
Give your heart a listen; tell me what it says –
Seems like everybody’s in pain
Think about the fiture – analyze the past –
Looks like no one uses their brain
Tell me how to stop this – turn this world around –
Is there really something that’s sane to gain?

God knows everybody needs more peace
I feel what it’s done for me
God sees greed has taken over the world
I know what it’s done to me
God knows that there is a need for peace
I see dying needlessly
God wants everyone to share their joy
I want people to be free…

Both the left and the right at each other’s throat
Seems like everybody’s insane
Save the unborn child; kill the criminal –
Such a contradiction – such pain!
Do a crazy diet – throw away your food –
1 in 6 go hungry each night!
Book me on a Mars probe – get me outta here!
I’m afraid we’re losing our sight for what’s right!

God knows everybody needs more love
I feel what it’s done for me
God sees Satan taking o’er the world
I know what he’s done to me
God knows that there is no need for war!
I see dying needlessly
God wants everyone to share their love
I want people to be free…

East and west in turmoil
at each other’s throat
everyone so hateful and mean
Give the rich some more – take it from the poor!
BOTH are fed by those in-between
Tell me how to stop this; turn the world around –
Nobody is using their brain
Book me on a Mars probe – get me OUTTA here!
I’m afraid we’re losing our sight for right!”                                  


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al Qaeda and Iraq – Fly Paper!

July 21, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

Happy Monday, readers! In what is rapidly becoming a start-of-each-week tradition on this blog site, and in association with the superb blog Fair and, I proudly present Mr. Burr Deming’s latest podcast, which he narrates below. Just click on this link and have your speakers on:                            

BURR DEMINGIn Burr’s very accurate words:

“Al Qaeda had never had any force to speak of in Iraq. There were scattered outposts in largely deserted areas not controlled by Saddam Hussein’s forces. But after the invasion, al Qaeda began to develop a presence. It wasn’t much, but it was more than the zero that had been in Sunni areas before. And it was growing.

So the Bush/Cheney administration went for the spin cycle. The increase in al Qaeda activity was actually a good thing…”

————————————————————————————————————————I remain amazed that the Bush/Cheney regime were able to so thoroughly mislead the public for so long. Cheney and his equally corrupt and lying, arrogant bedfellow Donald Rumsfeld, involved us in a trumped-up war which should never have been fought, and which has nearly bankrupted us in the process.

Bush-CheneyThat entire regime, from Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld all the way down to plunderers-rs-in-chief Paul Bremer and Paul Wolfowitz, to worthless and shoddy attorneys like Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo, are all guilty, directly or indirectly, of deceiving the world and engaging in WAR CRIMES. Each, in their own way, has blood on their hands, and justice demands that each be tried, convicted, and punished severely for the role they played in this wholly unnecessary and wanton spree of murder and warfare!            

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July 17, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

Greedy, corporate tax evasion has hit one of America’s oldest, and  the country’s largest retail pharmacy chain: Walgreens Drug stores. Begun in Chicago in 1901 by Charles R, Walgreen, the son of Swedish immigrant parents who became a pharmacist. Charles was quite an innovator: he was one of the first drug retailers to feature non-pharmaceuticals as a big part of his inventory, and quickly established inexpensive lunch counters in his stores. As ice cream grew in popularity, Walgreen opened his own ice cream factory, and, by 1922, had introduced malted milk shakes to the country. Walgreen expanded his number of stores relatively rapidly, growing from the one store in 1901 to 5 by 1915 and 20 by 1920. During Prohibition, the chain continued to grow and thrive partly by selling legal prescription whiskey. Today, this pharmacy giant boasts an astounding 8,678 stores throughout the United States and its possessions. The latest Wall Street stock figures show this to be a company with rising revenues and dividends – rock solid. Despite all this, it has been announced that Walgreens may move its headquarters from Deerfield, IL to Sqwitzerland to aoid paying U.S. taxes. The company claims it will save as much as $750 MILLION by doing this.  Of course, while it may then become technically a Swiss-owned corporation, it will continue to make all of its revenue and profits here; will still depend upon  OUR roads and airports to move its goods upon; will still depend upon OUR police and fire departments to protect its stores, yet will avoid all tax liability within this country. This nifty little scheme is called tax inversion, and is completely outrageous!  While corporate predators like Mitt Romney may consider this to be an advantageous shrewd move, in reality it is a slap in the face of every American worker, consumer, and taxpayer!

That is why I am STRONGLY urging ALL Americans to BOYCOTT WALGREENS DRUG STORES IMMEDIATELY, until this greedy corporation comes to its senses and completely drops this plan to defraud the American government and its people!

Let’s all BOYCOTT WALGREENS and teach the greedy corporate schemers there a well-deserved lesson in ethics!                                                        

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